We’ve been chronicling the misdeeds of the North Carolina Legislature in this space and the lawsuits that inevitably follow since the United States Supreme Court declined to ratify the “marriage amendment” in 2014. That’s the constitutional amendment that defined marriage in North Carolina as between one man and one woman only. And it has since been relegated to history’s dustbin.
Another concept from that same era, though, survived: Voter ID, which was crippled by civil suits back in 2014, passed a voter referendum to become a constitutional amendment in 2018. And now it languishes in a federal court while another matter works its way through SCOTUS, namely, who gets to argue the state’s case in defense of voter ID. NC Senate Majority Leader Phil Berger, who brought the suit, basically says that state Attorney General Josh Stein won’t do a good job. It seems like a huge waste of time, which may be the point. It will delay the federal hearing, which has been a tactic the NC GOP has been using in its quest to pass illegal laws, cut illegal voting districts and isolate the legislature from the system of checks and balances upon which this nation rests.
This is not the way it’s supposed to work.
There’s this case and the federal voter ID case, then there are two voter ID cases pending before the state Supreme Court. The illegal gerrymandering case has already been resolved by the state Supreme Court, though NC GOP leadership has already said they’ll challenge these districts again before the next cycle.
And we are still waiting for resolution in the Leandro case, which was decided in 1997 — 25 years ago — that state Republicans are still thwarting with bullshit and legal actions. That one decreed that the state budget was unconstitutionally underfunding the public education system. It’s still happening.
This is how you stand athwart the moving pages of history, compelling things to stop. We can’t move forward when everything is tied up in the courts.
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